Pietrus: Always intended to come to Boston

626304.jpg

Pietrus: Always intended to come to Boston

BOSTON If it seemed as if Mickael Pietrus became a Boston Celtic almost immediately after he was waived, well there's a reason.

The 6-foot-6 wing had already made his mind up before the Phoenix Suns bought him out last week, that he wanted to don the Green and White this season.

Once he cleared waivers, it became a matter of when, not if, he would be taking his talents to Causeway Street.

"I'm not going to lie to you," Pietrus said prior to Boston's blowout win over the Detroit Pistons. "Before I knew I would be waived, I already picked my team."

And that team was the Boston Celtics.

His reasoning was simple.

The Celtics are a team that has been among the more consistent squads in terms of competing for an NBA title, something he admits weighs heavily on his mind these days.

Well aware that they don't have an athletic wing of his caliber, there was a clear need on this roster for a player with his skills.

And it didn't hurt that the head coach is Doc Rivers, someone Pietrus said he "always wanted to play for, someday."

"I watched him on TV, old games when he played, and I watch his teams in Boston," Pietrus told CSNNE.com. "He played hard, and so do his teams. That's the kind of team I want to play for."

But before you get too excited about "Air France" bringing his game to the TD Garden floor, first he must recover from a knee injury that will likely keep him out for another couple weeks.

"I am going to listen to my body," he said. "Around here, you play to be healthy in June. That's why they got 17 banners."

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics surge at end of second quarter

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics surge at end of second quarter

BOSTON –  For the second time in as many games, the Boston Celtics were hosting a team eager to get off a losing skid.

But a strong surge near the end of the second quarter gave the Celtics a 65-56 halftime lead over Portland which came into the night having lost four straight.

Boston opened with a 12-4 run capped off by a 3-pointer by Jae Crowder – his second within the game’s first couple minutes.

But the Blazers were being carried by C.J. McCollum, half of the most explosive backcourt in the NBA. His 12 first-quarter points were crucial to keeping the Blazers within 28-26 at the end of the quarter.

McCollum continued to out-perform everyone else on the floor, even Isaiah Thomas who had a quieter than usual first half.

But the 5-foot-9 Thomas continued to make all the plays needed to put the Celtics back on top courtesy of a 12-3 run that put them ahead 57-49 with 1:55 to play in the half.

From there, Boston was able to maintain control of the game.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Saturday’s game.

 

STARS

C.J. McCollum

While there’s still talk about whether Damian Lillard will be an All-Star this year, McCollum has played well enough to where he’s at least worthy of a mention in the All-Star conversation. He certainly carried Portland in the first half with 26 points on 8-for-12 shooting.

Isaiah Thomas

As usual, Thomas drew a considerable amount of attention from the opposing defense. And slowly but surely, he found cracks that he could exploit. At the half, he had 17 points, four assists and three rebounds, one of which was an offensive board that he put-back in for a lay-up.

 

STUDS

Jae Crowder

He put the Celtics on a good path from the outset, knocking down a couple 3’s in the first couple of minutes. He finished the half with 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting which included a trio of 3-pointers.

Meyers Leonard

He was 3-for-4 in the first half which included a pair of powerful dunks over Boston’s Jordan Mickey. At the half he had eight points and two rebounds.

 

DUDS

Damian Lillard

It was a rough half for the two-time All-Star, tallying just three points on 1-for-5 shooting. A big part of his problem? Foul trouble. He played just 10 minutes in the first half due in large part to having three personal fouls.